Thursday, June 21, 2012


So after the let down of I'll Have Another not running in the Belmont (I have some theories about that), I needed a good pick-me-up story. I rooted around at the library in the new YA selections and found a gem: Entwined.

I do really enjoy variations on fairy tales, but they have to be done in a particular way and I have to be in the right mood for the story to really click. Given how much I didn't get into ABC's Once Upon a Time (despite my desire to), I wasn't sure if I was ready to give fairy tales another go yet.

But I did.  And so happy I did.

Entwined's lush cover attracted my eye enough to pick it up. (Yup, some publishers REALLY know who they are marketing to!) The synopsis provided was intriguing too. The story is based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses--one of the most overlooked princess fairy tales.

The author, Heather Dixon, did a stunning job crafting an enchanting story. Part of time I felt like I was reading the "Little Princess" or "The Secret Garden" and part of the time it was like reading a refined steampunk novel. Her writing style evokes memories of favorite childhood books, but with slightly more modern verbiage--without slipping into slang. I loved the Victorian/Old Europe feel the story had without actually being in any particular real-life setting. There were even a couple veiled nods to The Chronicles of Narnia.

Dixon also layers onto the tale the challenge of father-daughter relationships, giving Entwined a deeper dimension. This part was the hardest for me to get into until about halfway through the story when I finally realized how integral this aspect was to the plot. 

The other thing I loved: Entwined was a romantic YA fairy tale that is actually suitable for it's intended audience. The romance is sweet and airy, not lusty. The villain is creepy at times, but there was nothing that would make me blink before passing it along to a teen or even a 12 or 13 year old.

4.9 out of 5 stars! Recommended to anyone who loves fairy tales, princess stories, Lemony Snicket, The Secret Garden, Steampunk, or twists on children's Brit Lit.


  1. OOOOH I am going to have to check this out because The Twelve Dancing Princesses is one of my favorite fairy tales!

    As a side note, Why did you not get into "Once Upon a Time"? I stopped having time to watch it around episode 11, but I was getting a little frustrated by characters not asking questions that seemed obvious to me.

    1. I think I got annoyed by how much they were drawing the story out and not resolving anything. The backstories were often cool and interesting, so I liked that aspect. And it was fun having them run around in modern times. But I just got bored and frustrated mid-season. I wanted them to do so much more with it than the did and instead it just became another prime time soap dressed in fairy dust.

      (Snow White's cute pixie cut was adorable though...loved that modern twist).

  2. "A Little Princess" plus steampunk? Count me in--"A Little Princess" was my favorite childhood novel, and I love steampunk!

    And I agree--that's a gorgeous cover!


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